Resources for Engaging in Racial Justice Work

Pray Their Names Initiative

This past weekend First Congregational Church in Sonoma dedicated a compelling art installation, created in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, called "Pray Their Names." All are invited to visit the installation as it moves around the Conference and churches interested in hosting the display for a two-week period should email Rev. Curran Reichert.  The installation includes a liturgy of dedication. A website with resources and more information will be available soon. Donations to help with the cost of this project are welcomed. You can send checks to the church at First Congregational Church, 252 West Spain St. Sonoma, Ca 95476. Please include “Pray Their Names” in the memo. Read more HERE.Visit the Pray Their Names Facebook page for updated information.
They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds. Inspired by what our churches in Sonoma and Santa Rosa are doing but not able to host their installation? Want to do something right now? We have an option for you! As part of our ongoing intention to keep the important work of #blacklivesmatter at the center of our faith journeys and to continue to deepen the commitments of our faith communities to racial justice, conference volunteers have put together DIY kits in the spirit of the Praying Their Names installation (see above) and inspired by a Black Spring solidarity action created by BLM in 2015. Communities are invited to use the provided templates to make paper flowers with the names and pictures of black and brown people who have been killed by the police at their center and to “plant them” as a public witness and remembrance. This witness invites us to remember and grieve the deaths of these beloved kin in such a way that they rise and grow into actions of justice and commitments to end white supremacy and become anti-racist. How can we take up our part in the unfolding story of God’s resurrecting love by ending the state-sanctioned violence against black and brown communities and committing to the rising up of justice and equity? The kits include templates and instructions for flower making, names and images to use, ideas for ways your community can engage the installation, worship resources, and suggested action steps your community might take. Download the kits and additional resources to get your whole community involved in Praying Their Names!

Educational Resources

  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
  • How to be An Antiracist by Ibram Kendi
  • Kindred by Octavia Butler
  • Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
  • My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Path To Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon To White America by Michael Eric Dyson
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • These Wilds Beyond Our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home by Bayo Akomolafe
  • This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, edited by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua.
The 1619 Project  by the New York Times